Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | November 13, 2019

Scroll to top


Learn Svetlana Trefilova's Unique Water Acrylic Technique At Aspire Gallery

Learn Svetlana Trefilova’s Unique Water Acrylic Technique At Aspire Gallery

| On 17, Oct 2014

Svetlana Trefilova has a unique painting technique, but it’s not just her stroke that has caught the attention of Brisbanites and aspiring artists, it’s her chemistry background that has her bending the rules of art and creating magical pieces.

Teaching her technique for a limited time at Aspire Gallery, her exhibition is a glimpse into the world of textural painting.

Using a combination of water-based colours and acrylics, the multi-layered technique allows for paintings to come alive in ways that make her art unique and experimental.

Svetlana trefilova

Inspirational and completely experimental, Svetlana has for the last 3 years spent countless hours perfecting the technique of mixing water based paints to create textured masterpieces.

Presenting as part of her Honours in her Masters of Visual Art at Griffith University, her exhibition titled In Depth: Two Journey’s, showcases part of her work from 2013-2014 and explores the physical depth that textures can give a canvas.

Within the many layers of her art are the stories of the experiences that she has had throughout her life. By taking the movement and unpredictable motion of the acrylic paint on canvas, Svetlana has essentially captured how these stories can be brought to life texturally.

Up and running for the month of October, Svetlana will be exhibiting two parts in the space, the first being inspired by appropriation and delves into both her own art technique and the art of illustrious artists such as Picasso.


Her second series of work is inspired by the pop colours and brightness of Moreton Island. Her underwater theme evokes a creative flow of thoughts and pushes those to get lost and wander in and around her art.

Svetlana trefilova


“It’s probably one of the most unprepared and prepared techniques out there,” says Svetlana about  her own watery-acrylic painting style.


Svetlana trefilova

The Russian born artist worked as a chemist for 10 years conducting water analysis in laboratories.

During her time as a chemist she took art lessons and eventually came to join the two when she travelled to Australia 17 years ago.

“My way of paining is experimentation, I am experimenting with acrylic paint and water colours. I dilute it to different consistencies and see how different textures like thick and thin play together, how they interact and how they run and create amazing patterns when they play together,” she says.

Svetlana trefilova


Svetlana uses multiple steps to achieve this look, she first primes the background with a water colour which is then left to dry, then she adds layers of either acrylic, plaster or water colour to create the illusion of 3D art. Sometimes she can layer a piece of art more than 30 times to achieve this look.


Svetlana trefilova


“Why I really like this technique is because it’s not repeatable. Even myself I can’t repeat it, each piece is unique because the paint interaction gives you the pattern that you can never replicate. So I don’t worry about the fear of not standing out because my work has an element of unpredictability in it,” she says.


Svetlana trefilova


Having dedicated her life to painting, Svetlana who was also a professional clothes designer, says it’s not all about the technique, it’s about training your body to see shapes and paintings at their final stage before the first brush stroke. “From the beginning people used to tell me it’s all about the technique of the artist, but the technique comes from me. I am making the paintings because something inside me tells me too.” She adds.




Preparing herself for her PhD in Visual Art, Svetlana will be doing a series of work related to cross-culture which involves examining different nationalities as well as professions at the same time.

Although her technique is young and she is teaching others how she mastered the skill, Svetlana wants her work to keep innovating as she tries to experiment with different textures, always using her chemistry background as a base for her inspirations.

“I’m growing up as a person, I am developing myself as an artist and as a human being, because you learn a lot when you study art especially when you communicate with other artists and people, and go to exhibitions,” she says.




Her art has a beautiful nature to it, it evokes emotion and forces you to stare at it with depth and depiction.

With every layer that is painted on its unpredictability and volatile look will have you astounded as her art comes to fruition in the most interesting and inspiring ways.

You can head over to Svetlana’s Facebook page for more information about her work, or contact Aspire Gallery to see their up-and-coming workshops and to visit Svetlana’s exhibtion.

The Details

What: In Depth: Two Journey’s Svetlana Trefilova

When: Now- 22nd of October

Where: Aspire Gallery, 53 Kennedy Tce, Paddington

How Much: Free to see the exhibition, classes are based on availability